Planet Ant Theatre kicks off its 2015-16 season this weekend with an original, Halloween-themed horror spoof that revisits an old favorite, “Seance 13.” The new comedy features the original cast and crew from the Ant Colony’s 2011 hit “Seance 4” – with a story that fast-forwards through those unnecessary intervening sequels to cut to the racing heart of the ectoplasmic matter.
This fast-paced thriller/comedy follows a young hipster couple who moves into a house where a demon has wreaked havoc for 37 years. (Yes, this is the same ghoul encountered in “Seance 4.”) Feeling restless, the demon is scheming to be take human form, and has chosen the hipster bride to carry his seed. Meanwhile, a brilliant demonologist, who has ties to this house, seeks to destroy the demon before it can be born, with help or hindrance from a pastor, a realtor and a cop with something to prove. “Seance 13” features Planet Ant Home Team Members Dyan Bailey (Warren), Lauren Bickers (Hamtramck), Michael Hovitch (Ferndale), Sean McGettigan (Dearborn), Tara Rase (Plymouth) and Cara Trautman (Pleasant Ridge), under the direction of Shawn Handlon (Harper Woods).
“Séance 13” runs through October 17 on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on October 4 and 11. Tickets ($20) are on sale now at the Planet Ant website and will be available at the box office 30 minutes prior to performances based on availability. Planet Ant Theatre is located at 2357 Caniff in Hamtramck.
The rest of the Planet Ant season looks like this:
October 30 – November 15
An original one-act comedy by Planet Ant Colony Fest winners “Reclassify Pluto.” Directed by Mike McGettigan – Late Night Series. This is the improv team that won the 2015 Colony Fest improv competition. “Reclassify Pluto” consists of the following local improvisers: Maggie O’Reilly, Julia Schroeder, Janelle Soulliere, Katie McGraw, Matt Penridge and Mitch Socia.
November 25 – December 19
“Orson’s Shadow” by Austin Pendleton. Directed by Chuck Reynolds – Main Stage Series. This award winning play is based on true events in 1960 London when two Hollywood giants – Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier – bump heads. The place is a West End theater in which Welles is to direct Olivier and the young Joan Plowright in “Rhinoceros,” Ionesco’s absurdist masterpiece. But it is the rehearsal process that brims with absurdity as titanic personalities, including Vivien Leigh, wrestle the muse in this witty and incisive depiction of the drama of theatre.
January 15- January 30, 2016
Planet Ant presents the winner of 2015 Box Fest – Late Night Series. The 2015 Box Fest-winning director will have the opportunity to present a play of her choice at Planet Ant.
February 12 – March 5, 2016
“The Aliens” by Annie Baker, directed by York Griffith – Main Stage Series. Two angry young men sit behind a Vermont coffee shop and discuss music and Bukowski. When a lonely high-school student arrives on the scene, they decide to teach him everything they know. A play with music about friendship, art, love and death.
March 18 – April 9, 2016
TBA: An original Planet Ant Home Team Sketch Show, Directed by Mike McGettigan – Main Stage Series. Members of the Planet Ant Home Team will write an original two-act multimedia sketch comedy show using stage, screen and song.
May 6 – May 21, 2016
“Fish Dinner 3” by Quintin Hicks, directed by Dave Davies – Late Night Series. The Wilde-Award winning one-man show, “Fish Dinner” returns to Planet Ant Theatre for the third and final chapter: “Fish Dinner 3.” Detroit Second City alum Quintin Hicks stretches the limits of character performance and improv to introduce you to a world of unique and unforgettable characters. Side-splittingly hysterical, with pockets of poignant tragedy, expect to see some familiar faces and perhaps a few new ones!
June 3 – June 25, 2016
“Alone with Friends” by Margaret Edwartowski
Directed by Kelly Komlen
Main Stage Series
A successful romance novelist relies on her relationship with her main character as she maneuvers through the writing of her latest novel and the re-evaluation of her reclusive life
July 8 – July 23, 2016
“The Best of Ant Farm” – Late Night Series. A one act anthology of the best original pieces submitted to Planet Ant’s Ant Farm program, which provides a space for local writers to have staged readings of their works.
Late Night Saturdays & Improv Mondays
Improvisation is a staple of the Planet Ant experience. As in past seasons, on select Saturday evenings, Planet Ant will present a late night show featuring a rotating schedule of improvisation. Tickets are $5 at the door.
In addition, the Planet Ant Improv Colony offers Michigan’s longest-running improv comedy show – Improv Mondays. The Improv Colony has generated over twenty original comedies which it continues to perform in rotation every Monday night in at 8:00 p.m. The show kicks off with a guest improv troupe followed by a performance by Planet Ant’s resident Home Team. The night closes with The Ant Jam, an opportunity for anyone to improvise on the Planet Ant stage. Tickets are $5 at the door